Feel the Homomentum!

Hi Shakers! GoldFishy here with some great news from Minnesota! (Thanks to Liss for the chance to contribute.)

Saint Paul, MN City Council and Mayor Chris Coleman (no relation to former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, who also once held the very same office) have unanimously supported and authorized a municipal domestic partner registry for that municipality. Woot! What really rocks my socks is that the mayor commented at the signing (held at a local gay bar!!!) that the measure is "not enough." It offers little to participating citizens beyond a public recognition of the domestic partnership of any two committed adults (same-sex couples or otherwise), as state law prohibits any local, state, or county government or agency from offering insurance and other benefits to same-sex, unmarried partners. But our friends in Minneapolis and Duluth have similar ordinances. This does feel like a good way to build community-level support for equality through neighbors, businesses, and local governments who see a chance to strengthen families.

What really grabs me in this article is the celebration that is taking place despite the limited civil impact of the ordinance.
"Anything that can help show we have this commitment of love together and in our daily lives, I think, is important," said Jane Leonard, 52, of St. Paul, who has been with her partner 27 years. "It's a moment where we (as a city) say, 'OK, we all agreed to commit to this. We'll see where that takes us.' "
We in MN have real political challenges with marriage equality (remember, US Representative Michele Bachmann was once a state legislator here, and we are home to Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is widely recognized as a likely Republican presidential candidate in 2012—both of whom have been tireless, vocal opponents to LGBTQI equality in nearly every form). We've somehow managed to NOT allow a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage come to a vote on the floor of the legislature, but Bachmann and her ilk did all that they could to get it there. And we have had a DOMA on the books in our state since 1997, but we've also been trailblazers in many ways (including early adoption of statewide protections against discrimination for transgender individuals in 1993).

The ordinance is repeatedly referred to as a "steppingstone" by those at the signing ceremony/Big Gay Happy Hour. This is because the people of Saint Paul, like many people here, expect more. Rightly so. And this has to be a good sign:
During a public hearing on the measure last week, not a single person spoke against it.
Do you feel it? That there is Homomentum!

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